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Old March 10th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #1
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Looking for 2nd opinions

So I've been debating with my corporate bosses on the following situation.
Our video department has a Sony PD-170 that needs repair.
Drum Assembly, guide set, and labor comes to about $750

It's been suggested that we should just make the jump to HD instead of paying to repair the SD camcorder.

So a Sony V1 and HDV deck would run about $5000 plus most likely some RAM upgrades to the editing computer to handle the HDV.

We aren't really in a need to shoot HD in my opinion since it's mostly recording meetings and event type stuff (often in low light).

So with what little information I offered I wondered what you would do in this situation?

Here's the PD-170 Hours Meter if that helps.
Operation 181X10H
Drum Run 63X10H
Tape Run 45x10H
Threading 250x10

An advanced thanks for any opinion on the matter!
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Old March 10th, 2009, 11:27 AM   #2
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Switching to HD

I just made the same decision repair or new HD. I decided to go HD even though I deliver most of my stuff in SD. I still shoot in HD to future proof my footage. I bought a canon XL H1. To get around getting a deck I will purchase the sony attachment that lets you record on a flash card. you can record on tape and flash card simultaniously. Makes uploading fast and easy and there is still a back up on tape just in case. When I think of all the great footage over the years that will soon be obsolete I want to start in HD asap.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 12:44 AM   #3
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I have a V1 and it is a great camera in sufficient light, and not so great in low light. I entered videography at the dawn of HDV so I don't know much about the PD170 except that it was a low light champion. It also was the workhorse camera that could do it all.

I think the logical step from the PD170 is to the EX1, not the V1. The V1 has its niche, the EX1 is the new workhorse.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 01:45 AM   #4
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Staying with Sony makes sense because of the batteries, charger, LANC controller and so on. Going to an HDV camera makes sense for the 16:9 aspect ratio probably more than the HDV in your case (and of course it can still shoot in 4:3).

Maybe you should look at the Z5 and Z7. Both can shoot to CF as well as tape and work in much lower light than the V1. I wouldn't spend that sort of money on the 170's repair as its secondhand value isn't that high.

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Old March 11th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I do think the Z5 is the best choice in this situation. It's hard to sell that to the higher-ups who are not so technolgically inclined and only look at the price tag however. In fact, I've now had to argue why I do not approve buying a Sony SR11. I mean guys, it's an HD camera that's under a $1000!!! Can you beleive that awesomeness!! I probably sound like a grown-up in a Peanuts cartoon when I speak of lack of XLR, AVCHD editing requirements, smaller chip size, archiving situations, etc.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #6
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Edward: if you REALLY don't need high def and you're shooting in low light often, why not just buy another PD170? B&H still has them listed on their website. $2700 with a wide angle adaptor; not listed but probably cheaper without and you get to carry forward all your existing accessories.
Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster
www.roaddogmedia.ca Blog: http://roaddogmedia.wordpress.com/
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Old March 13th, 2009, 10:46 AM   #7
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I agree with Shaun. Your specific corporate situation doesn't seem to justify change of workflow. Yes, your SD will be better when shot with a new HDV camera but the PD-170 is one of the top SD DV cameras of all time.

If it were me, and the XLRs, lens, and knobs are all good on the PD-170, I would save filling the landfill and repair the PD-170 while you still can and get another 5-10 years out of it. Don't underestimate the impact of the accessories, camera operation, skills efficiency, and and computer side of things. It sounds like there is no business value in upscaling to an HDV camera.

Last edited by Les Wilson; March 13th, 2009 at 10:48 AM. Reason: forgot one point
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